Monday, September 30, 2019

Why I'm excited for Autumn

I love the summer. I love the heat from the sun, I love that the ice-cream van has taken to stopping directly outside my house, trips to the beach, everything. Sometimes though, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, so this is the time of year that I start looking forward to seasonal changes that are approaching.

As September marks the end of Summer and the transition into Autumn, it felt the perfect time to share what I’m most looking forward to this Autumn...

 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ygULRNKEJyL-CrYMteLQask1MKc1tcFv

The fashion
I’m a skinny jeans girl through and through, but they just aren’t appropriate for the scorching heat of the summer months – especially this year! I’m not a fan of the cold either though, so the start of Autumn is just perfect for me to whack on my skinny jeans and boots without feeling like I’m going to either melt or freeze.

There’s no denying that I’m also a massive hoodie fan. As with the jeans this is the time of year I can steal Mike’s hoodies (because his are better than mine) and be all cosy and snug.

It’s not just clothes that change, make up does as well. The summer is the time for nude, natural looking make up, which I love, but I’ve also got a huge affection for dynamic looks with bold colours. I always think the deep burgundy and dark eyes just look so much better in the colder months.

Food
Not only is there pumpkin spice and cinnamon in almost everything (which cliché as it is I actually love) it’s also the time of year I get to dust off the slow cooker and start preparing warming, hearty meals.

There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day at work to a nice warm house that is filled with the smell of food that’s ready to go. I intend to purchase a new hand blender for myself this year too, so I’m looking forward to making myself soup from scratch as well. I think this is a ‘you know you’re an adult when’ moment isn’t it?

We’re also entering the time of year where its socially acceptable to drink hot chocolate non-stop, which is absolutely something I can get on board with.

Time outside
One of my favourite things about the Autumn is the colours. I love seeing the reds and golds everywhere, and now that I live next to a small woodland it’s going to be even better. With the beautiful scenery I’m even more excited to go for long walks in the crisp air surrounded by all the autumnal colours.

As I mentioned in my monthly goals I quite fancy going on a couple of runs this month. Usually I absolutely hate running. I’m asthmatic, and its triggered by the cold so I can’t really do it in the winter, and quite frankly I find it boring. Yet it seems to be something I want to do of late, so I’ll guess we’ll see how long it lasts – admittedly its likely to revert to walking very soon.

Candles
I love scented candles. I’m pretty sure I’d burn them all year round if I could. Typically will just burn incense sticks in the summer to make the house smell nice, although I did get a lovely summery candle in the Moi-meme Summer Nights box which I used religiously until I got to the end.

Anyway, Autumn and Winter are the time I have candles on the go practically all the time. When I’ve got a good stash of candles I really enjoy coming home and picking out my chosen candle for that evening.

Halloween
Got to save the best until last right? Halloween is by far my favourite time of year. Despite the fact that I wasn’t allowed to go trick or treating as a kid (boo) its always been a time of year that I’ve adored. Probably because I love anything spooky!

I now have even more reason to love it, as it marks the anniversary of Mike asking me to marry him. In a way, this years Halloween will be all the more special, because it’s the last one we’ll spend as an engaged couple.

So that’s my little round up of the excitement that is Autumn. Are you looking forward to the seasonal change? Or would you rather permanent summer?
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Monday, September 23, 2019

Moi-meme Monthly │ Magical Moments │ September 2019

Another month, another wonderful Moi-meme box! If you saw my review of last months box, ‘Deep Blue Sea’ you’ll know that I was totally blown away by both the contents and design of the box. This admittedly made me a little apprehensive for Septembers box, because I knew the previous would be pretty hard to compare to, let alone beat.

 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1FCOUifyaZSAJonEOuJyHJvt2-VPHEBAJ

The day my September box arrived really couldn’t have been better timed. I’d had the worst morning. Every single file I’d picked up that morning had been totally wrong and needed fixing, then a training session for a new system ran over half an hour into my lunch break making me extremely hangry. I got stuck in traffic when I went out for lunch and returned to the office not feeling at all rested for the afternoon, and in a rather foul mood… until I got to my desk and found the Magical Moments box sat waiting for me on my desk. After that I was excited to see what goodies were hiding within, and couldn’t wait to get home and see. So with no further delay, let’s see what I got...

Tranquillity bath salts - Maison Meunier.
Before I even opened the outer box, I could smell the gorgeous scent of one of the products emanating from the box. The product in question was a sizable jar of floral bath salts. A relaxing mix of Lavender, Sweet Orange and Ylang ylang are blended with a combination of pink Himalayan salts, unrefined organic Epsom salts and rich Kaolin clay. These are all natural, handmade, vegan and cruelty free.

 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1AND7cTWGemMI-9rIB1d3HTneSsifO0bg

The packaging is beautiful too, the reusable clip top jar is stored within unbleached cotton drawstring, making it presentable as a gift item. Our area has hard water and we get a fairly strong chemical smell from our bathwater, so I’ve found a lot of the time that bath products often struggle to overcome the chlorine smell. That wasn’t the case here at all, and the scents within the salts are more than potent enough. The one and only draw back with this product is that you need to rinse the bath out afterwards, as I found that bits of lavender has stuck to the side of the tub. Not that it’s a major drawback at all, and is to be expected where a product contains whole flowers. 

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1u-PeCe4q8Yl2HBjlwAcBqRQ-jemOIpEU 

Magical Moments notebook - Katie Loxton.
As quite correctly pointed out by Moi-meme, everyone loves beautiful stationary, and this stunning notebook is no exception. Its large in size, and the pages are thick, high quality paper. Protected by a silvery, leather like cover, with ‘Magical Moments’ embossed on the front, the suggestion from Moi-meme was to not use this like a typical notebook.

 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1dRaMGn0TU4xC3qPvmgh68af_nh8daNrI

We can all be guilty of buying lovely stationary, but then putting it to use for things we might not prefer, such as work, or lengthy to do lists. Moi-meme suggested instead to use the notebook for something that will make you happy, such as fond memories or quotes. As Mike and I are getting married next year, I’ve decided I’m going to use mine as a scrapbook, with a couple of wedding photos, and then various photos throughout our first year of being married. I’d say that’s pretty fitting to ‘Magical Moments!’.

Love Coco Milk Chocolate.
I have a confession about this chocolate, and that’s that I ate it all before I photographed it. I know, I know, I’m a terrible blogger, but I had a massive chocolate craving and couldn’t help myself. At least I did a reasonable job at sealing the box back up though! I think that statement alone indicates that I clearly enjoyed it!

 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1odAclslV_FGcspI81AsbKGgcn93aXK5k

As I’ve mentioned previously, I love that we get a sweet treat in our monthly boxes. This time round was a decadent salted caramel, milk chocolate bar from Love Coco. As Moi-meme correctly pointed out, this is not for sharing!!

I’m really pleased with the contents of this months box, and the fact that I’ve got something that I can keep sentimental memories in is a massive plus in my book.

As I’ve come to expect with Moi-meme the products are well thought out and consistent with the chosen theme for the month. Another hit! If you’d like to give the monthly boxes a try for yourself, use code ‘EMSWORLD’ for a discount on your first box.

Are you a Moi-meme subscriber? What did you think? 
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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Blood Sugar


When Mike asked my what I wanted for my birthday this year, my first answer was a puppy. Sadly a puppy was out of the question, as we simply don’t have the time needed, so we moved to my second choice, which was for a new Jeffree Star pallet to add to my currently very small collection. I’ve had the beauty killer pallet for a little while now, and absolutely love it. There’s a good mix of colours, giving you multiple options when it comes to choosing the look you want to go for.


The formula is absolutely spot on, not chalky and packed with pigment. It takes very little effort to build colour. If anything, I’m always a little mindful of using a gentle hand when it comes to picking up product.

I feel like Jeffree Star is a bit like marmite, in that people seem to either love him, or hate him. I’m in camp love, but whichever side of the fence you sit on however, there is no denying that he makes good quality and unique products.


https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1YM3_rOKAL9mTJe0t24iwtxGsNrZe4GpC




With the very recent launch of the Jaw Breaker line, I did wonder if I’d be getting one of the two possible pallets from that collection, as I hadn’t specified to Mike which one I actually wanted. He didn’t get me anything from the new line – because surprise, surprise, they were sold out when he tried – but he did get me the one I have been dreaming of for months now; the Blood Sugar pallet.


 Blood Sugar has been out for quite a while, but I’ve never managed to get my hands on it. It’s in such high demand that the moment it comes back into stock it seems to just go again, and having now tried it for myself I can understand why. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the mad rush for everyone to get their hands on Jaw Breaker is the reason this pallet has had a bit of a break.



https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1e1gJMyGtu3LzlKwO1npIO0wRTktM5x-z



As you can see, the theme of this pallet leans towards red and burgundy tones, which could look a little intimidating to those who prefer a more neutral or natural look. Rest assured however, it is very possible to achieve a soft, every day look with this pallet. It just comes down to choosing the right shades. On the flip side, those a little more daring can go wild with the vibrant reds the selection offers.




The packaging is beautiful, is in my favourite colour and looks absolutely stunning on my vanity. Whenever I have the girls round to get ready for a night out, this is the pallet picked up the most, simply because it’s just so eye catching. The vegan leather is attractive and sturdy, and the whole pallet feels robust, weighty and of a good quality.




When it came to using for the first time, I found the formula to be the same excellent quality as Beauty Killer. In fact, if I’m being totally honest, I feel as though its improved. It’s easy to work with, blends with minimal effort and is very easy to build. The one and only draw back is that the deeper reds stain the lid a tiny bit, but this is very common with red pigment, especially if the formula is vegan. You just need an extra go or so with a decent make up remover for the eye area and that pretty much does the trick.



https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Taf3R9P1Xr-KZBsMYpOPsd1JDh0vNNV-




I’m so glad to have finally got my hands on this pallet, and can’t wait to get my hands on some bits from Jaw Breaker, to further add to my collection.

 

Do you have any Jeffree Star products? What should I get next?

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September Goals 2019


Much like my latest lookback, this post seems to be a lot later in the month than I intended it to be. I just feel like there’s so much to do at the moment, and if I’m totally honest, I’m starting to feel a little overwhelmed at the moment. It feels like my mind is constantly on the go and I’m not getting any down time to decompress and relax.

 

That’s one of the reasons I love these lists though. I feel like they give me some grounding and introduce a little bit of structure into what is currently a very busy routine.


 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=18ztnGOwnPPgTnrPxZv4UulwlEsHvmZkq




Before I start talking about my goals for the rest of September, lets see how I got on with my August goals;

 

Photographer. Whilst I’ve almost pegged this down, I haven’t managed to get this booked. I should be done in the next few days though, so it isn’t the end of the world, although I’m a little disappointed as this is a pretty big thing I needed to sort.

 

Cleanse. I did get round to this! I pulled out all of my cosmetics and binned anything out of date, which has freed up some space. I also managed to go through my wardrobe and get rid of a load of clothes, so I do feel like I have a bit more space and my little beauty room is tidy.

 

Blog photos. I got a couple, but only a few days’ worth. Most of which have been used now, so I do need to have a proper session where I can get a large batch together so I have a few in reserve.

 

Garden. I had a productive evening in the middle of August and ripped every single plant out of my garden. This now means I have the space to plant what I actually want there. Although there seem to be a lot of weeds sneaking their way though. Having cleared everything out is making it much easier to keep on top of it though, and when my seedlings are bigger the space will be more than prepped for them.

 

Bike. Is all sorted! I sorted my tax, MOT and insurance. The MOT came out a little more costly than I had expected as the front suspension caused a fail, but it wasn’t any where near as bad as I’d expected.

 

I also got to go out on a little ride by myself, which I’d been putting off for ages because I was being a wuss… it all went fine and I was really thrilled with myself for making myself go.

 

Get active. I managed this too! I’ve lost the weight I’d gained from being on holiday, and then a little more which is pleasing. I didn’t just stick to the gym either (although that was the bulk of it). I also got outside for some walks and it was lovely to be out in the fresh air.

 

 

Having reflected back on the progress of last months goals I feel significantly more positive, and its given me inspiration for a few of my September goals as well;

 

 

Go on more walks. As I mentioned above, some of my activity involved getting outside and walking on the various woodland trails near my home. I found the fresh air and the quiet to be hugely beneficial to my mood, and the exercise made me feel better too. Given that its had such a positive effect I feel its something I should do more of.

 

Photographer. As I didn’t finish this it needs to go on the list for this month, and I must, must, must do it!

 

Wedding dress. I have a pretty good idea of what I’m after having scrolled endlessly through Pinterest. Now its just a case of finding a dress I love that is also within our budget.

 

Candles. This should be a nice easy one. I love candles, and burn them pretty much constantly through the Autumn and Winter time. However, my once large stock of different candles to choose between is now nil… so now is as good a time as ever to go out and get more.

 

Get on the bike. In hindsight, maybe I should have sorted a bike at the start of summer, rather than the end. I obviously have no intention of riding in adverse weather (that’s what the car is for) so I need to get some miles in before the weather changes.

 

Start saving for Christmas. Yes, I know, it still feels a little early to be using the C word, but starting to put money aside or buying small things now makes the world of difference when it comes to December.

 

Halloween costume. We’re going for a gaming theme this year. One of the other girls in the group and myself have chosen Skyrim characters, so are building our costumes from scratch. I’d already made a start on mine last month and its coming together pretty well. My goal is to have it near finished by the end of the month, so there isn’t a mad panic later.

 

Halloween themed activities. There was so much I wanted to do last year, but never got to any of it as we were in the process of trying to get the sale of my flat finalised so we could move. To make up for it this year I want to have found some things for me and the girls to do, and hopefully booked a few as well.

 







That just about rounds up my goals for the upcoming month. I tried to keep it simple so as not to overload my already rather busy brain.


Do you have any goals for September?




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Thursday, September 5, 2019

August Look back 2019

It feels like just 5 minutes ago I was typing up my July look back, and yet here we are suddenly in September! Where the hell is this year going?? July was a jam-packed month, and as predicted in my August goals, I had the feeling this month would be a little quiet by comparison. Whilst I don’t have quite so many things to talk about for August, it was still a good month, with more happy memories to look back on.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1hLDsBgINx85bEZ3k101E5TMntEkul6xU 
The very start of August kicked off with my mid-year review at work, which if I’m totally honest I’d been really apprehensive about. I work as an Insurance Broker, and in my company we are usually paired into teams of two, made up of an Executive and an Account Handler. Whilst neither is ‘manager’ of the other as such, it is considered that the handler ‘works for’ the executive in doing the work needed for our renewals to run smoothly, as well as handling most of the day to day queries and changes.
At the end of last year the executive I was aligned to, and with whom I worked well left the company, and I started working with a new one just before Christmas. We initially got on really well, referring to ourselves as ‘dream team’ but after a month or so started to clash and disagree on how different things should be done. To cut a long story short, with my every move or action being challenged or questioned my confidence in my own ability was being slowly worn down and after a long discussion with my actual manager, where I admitted I was looking to leave, I moved teams.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1FLR4R7nURnNTclhRvz3zq7u4Qz_nkuCF

Things have changed dramatically since then, but naturally those first few months of 2019 had to be taken into account for the review of the first half of my whole year, so I felt a lot of stress around whether or not I had genuinely been terrible at my job or if my exec had just been picking holes for no reason. When it came to sitting down with my manager we had a lot of discussion, talking about both my old role and the new. It transpired that I need not have worried, and whilst my new team were happy with my work, it also turned out my audits for working in the previous team had come back fine as well – bearing in mind, we obviously don’t know which of our files might be audited. My accuracy scores were even 100%! You can imagine how I felt hearing these scores, having previously thought I was performing to terrible standard. Plus, it meant a nice bonus toward the end of August! I guess it just goes to show that just because someone has been working somewhere longer than you, doesn’t mean they are always right, in this case there had been nothing wrong with the standard of my work, I’d just been unfortunate enough to be teamed with someone who would never be happy.
 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1HAUydqlPNLQd5_QarOMAkwxpNHikY6SW
Sadly that bonus was rather short lived and a lot of it went before I even had it, as my new bike needed various bits done to get it on the road, including an MOT. The bike isn’t in amazing condition, (in fact I’m surprised it runs) and the left hand grip came off while it was being wheeled into the garage… fml… hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come! It subsequently failed its MOT anyway following a totally separate issue with the suspension and the brakes, which were thankfully not an expensive to fix.
The poor little thing is decrepit, and covered in rust, but its mine and it will more than do for the time being. A little TLC will get it most of the way to where it needs to be and after spending a day giving it a good old clean it looked much better.
Things have moved along on the wedding front this month too, and things are starting to feel very real now. Whilst our wedding will be overseas, we’ve opted to do the legal side in the UK to save money and just make life easier. This will literally be the paperwork and as far as we’re concerned, not really special, to the point that we’re debating using council staff members as our two witnesses. We can’t have any more than two people there on the package we’ve chosen, so inviting no one prevents the possibility of anyone feeling left out. The ‘special’ bit will be in the USA with our friends and family. The legal side still needs doing though, and we’ve now booked a date to officially get married, with our notice appointment early this month.
Over the bank holiday weekend we had Mike’s nephew come stay with us, having recently turned 18. We took him on a night out in Norwich, doing a bit of a pub / bar crawl to show him as much as the city as possible – especially given he isn’t from Norwich. Given that our little group are guilty of going to the same places a lot of the time (I’m pretty sure we’re on first name basis with almost everyone in the Waterfront now) it was nice to get out and go to some different places.
 https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1e0dTqwOHarkvkn_48HRTA_cLNPd1i4hE
With the lovely weather we had loads of BBQs over that weekend and got to spend some time enjoying the sun and the bikes – including mine!
Other than a couple of girls nights filled with chocolate and chic-flicks that just about sums up August for me. We’ve got a couple of bits planned already for September, but a primary focus will be finishing off all out costumes for Halloween. We’ve decided to make our own this year, with the theme being video games and so far, it’s going well!
What did you go in August? What are your plans for September?
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